The smartest thing Markus Zusak has done in his novel The Book Thief, I think, is his decision to tell stories using the perspective of Death.
If Zusak did not do it and said using the perspective of one of the characters in the family story from the background of the Nazi war in Germany, perhaps, the figure of Liesel Meminger and what happened to the people around him did not become more interesting.
The Book Thief is opened with a description seen from the glasses — and described by the main narrator: Death.
The first chapter in the prologue of the novel is titled “Death and Chocolate.” With the perspective of the first person, Death tells what he sees, every time a death occurs.
What is Inside The Book Thief
The Book Thief novel, tells of a daughter named Liesel Meminger.
This little girl was adopted by Hans and Rosa Hubermann. He was adopted by these two people because his parents had communism and were now captured by the Nazis.
Liesel and his sister should have been adopted by the person because at the time of his journey his sister died Liesel became himself.
The city where Liesel was adopted was called Molching. He lived in a small house on the street called Himmel.
The next day his new home was visited by a neighbor of his age named Rudy. They also become friends.
Liesel learns together from the fact that he has not been able to read until he is fluent in reading.
After a long period of World War II there was someone who asked for protection at Hans Hubermann’s house, Rosa Hubermann, and Liesel Meminger.
The father of the man was a son of Hans’s friend when he fought during the first world war, so he protected him even though they had a very big risk.
Why You Should Read The Book Thief
The Book Thief novel by Markus Zusak uses language that is not complicated and easy to understand.
In some chapters also provided interesting illustrations so that readers do not get bored reading this book.
This 584-page novel is a page-turner. As I have said, Zusak’s narration is very flowing.
He rarely writes long sentences with figures of speech or imagery that are difficult to digest.
Conversely, the sentences are often short, using vocabulary that is easy to understand.
Maybe it’s because, again, The Book Thief is a teen novel (at least on Goodreads and some websites, this novel is categorized as a teen novel).
However, it was precisely there that the intelligence of Mark Zusak was seen: his expertise combined the heavy issues and packaging of teen novels.
Zusak was not pretentious by writing something about Nazi Germany, Hitler, or World War II.
So, the novel is not a collection of facts or research on the Nazis, but literature that is fun to read.
The Book Thief Quotes
The Book Thief Death Quotes
Here is a small fact: You are going to die. I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations. Please trust me. I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be amiable. Agreeable. Affable. And that’s only the A’s. Just don’t ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me.
I am haunted by humans.
I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality, but what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race- that rarely do I ever simply estimate it.
I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant. None of those things, however, came out of my mouth.
All I was able to do was turn to Liesel Meminger and tell her the only truth I truly know. I said it to the book thief and I say it now to you. I am haunted by humans.
Important Quotes from The Book Thief
His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do – the best ones. The ones who rise up and say “I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come.”
Those souls are always light because more of them have been put out. More of them have already found their way to other places.
A human doesn’t have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time.
I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.
Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.
The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.
A small but noteworthy note. I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.
Death Quotes The Book Thief
The last time I saw her was red. The sky was like soup, boiling and stirring. In some places it was burned. There were black crumbs and pepper, streaked across the redness.
At some point on time I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away.
Please believe me when I tell you that I picked up each soul that day as if it were newly born. I listened to their last, gasping cries. Their vanishing words. I watched their love visions and freed them from their fear.
I witness the ones that are left behind, crumbled among the jigsaw puzzles of realization, despair, and surprise. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs.
The man did not breathe. He did not move. Yet, somehow, he traveled from the doorway to the bed and was under the covers.
The suffering faces of depleted men and women reached across to them, pleading not so much for help, but for an explanation. Just something to subdue this confusion.
The Book Thief Interesting Facts
Markus Zusak redrafted The Book Thief a massive 200 times, believing the rewrites would make the novel stronger.
It looks like he was right, as it has sold eight million copies worldwide and has been translated into thirty languages.
The Book Thief was so successful that it remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 230 weeks.
Markus Zusak extensively researched the book to ensure accuracy.
On top of interviewing his parents and reading books, he flew to Germany once the manuscript was finished to check the little details.
While a few errors were flared, he stated that his writing was pretty accurate.